Can a depiction of violence draw attention to racism? The rapper XXXTentacion seems to think so. Fox News reported that the rapper is "under fire" for his disturbing music video.
The video features a Caucasian boy being lynched on a stage. As the boy dies, an African-American boy looks on.
The video is for his song “Look At Me!" It debuted on Tuesday, and it also imagery depicting police brutality and violent protests A large portion of the video is footage of Philando Castille being shot, the Rodney King beating, and the LA race riots.
However, the most disturbing part is hands-down the rapper placing the child's head in a noose. The 19-year-old from Florida then pulls the child up into the air as a crowded theater looks on. The video disturbingly depicts the child's death, showing twitching and then stillness.
Unsurprisingly, they had a hard time finding a parent who was willing to have their hung on stage.
“We had to delay the video because the mom that originally agreed and said okay but when she got there she didn’t feel comfortable. We delayed for a week,” said Stanley according to Fox News.
“I called a lot of parents. It was a direct booking. No one was okay with their white child getting lynched,” Stanley said.
Eventually, they found a "stage mom" who was willing to have her son killed on stage. Stanley said the mother “was serious about acting and the message."
Stanley claims the purpose of the video was to bring attention to the fact that society has become desensitized to violence against African American men. The “little white boy and black boy show innocence,” she adds, and the imagery of a white child being hung is meant to be shocking.
The video creators seem to miss that the video actually glorifies violence. By depicting violence, they encourage more violence. They also seem to miss that violence against an innocent little boy doesn't balance violence against African American men. The only thing it achieves is to—yes, be shocking—but also to encourage violence.
Imagine the emotional toll that filming that scene took on the two young boys. What do you think their futures will be like now that this is in their psyches?
Twitter users pointed out how awful the video was.
“I'm not sure if hanging a child in a music video is right, regardless of the message you send," wrote the user according to Fox.
Another user pointed out that a white artist wouldn't be allowed to depict the same kind of violence towards a minority.
This video has been viewed more than 7.8 million times since it was posted on Tuesday.
Does this make you angry? Let us know in the comments. In other news, a well-loved celebrity just called it quits. Read the heartbreaking story.